Sabertooth!

It was so long ago that I can hardly remember. Maybe a dozen years. New ways of looking at bikes was driving new choices in parts. I had to start getting more and more creative with setups. More than any other part, the stem became a crucial part. Not just any stem, the RIGHT stem. … Read more

PBE2022

It was looking to be a lively year for the Philly Bike Expo. Well on the backside of the pandemic, things would be closer to ‘normal’ than in the past few years. Also, with the collapse of the North American Handmade Bike Show, PBE was, without question, The Show for North America in 2022. Over … Read more

Flashdance

The other day, I got to go visit the Firefly Bicycles studio in Boston. I’ve got some history in the world surrounding this. I talked with Tyler Evans during the tour and after about what this is all about. Not many know that Tyler’s personal story was made into a movie, Flashdance, although Hollywood took … Read more

OnePointEight

I finally had a chance to work with some of the new OnePointEight head parts. These are being rolled out for heavier eBikes. Matt has a Transition Repeater 29″. He was ‘upgrading’ from a RS ZEB R 160mm to a Fox 38 Grip 2 Factory 180mm. The ZEB that the bike came with has a … Read more

Bike Design with Crayons

We just learned about the 2023 Marin Gestalt X10. A $1,549.00 bike that is almost worth riding. I try to rep Marin County with my bike work. It’s an incredible place to ride, especially if you want mixed terrain. We have hundreds of miles of gorgeous fire roads and a ton of singletrack from mild … Read more

Microscope Holding Upgrade

I just recently got the chance, again, to post microscope images of some failed handlebars. While I’m not into having failures, it’s nice to use my neat setup microscope. Images like the ones that I took are extremely difficult to obtain. Holding a handlebar (or portion of a handlebar) the long way, rigidly, under the … Read more

My first weld failure.

In response to whether he should give up a project, Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” I’ve been welding my own bike frames, forks, and handlebars together since 2006. That’s about 16 years. Before that, I had a good amount of experience preparing … Read more

Suckered by Junk

This was supposed to be a nice little post about a setup tweak to Windy’s Stumpjumper and a different look at front end setup. Instead, we are also going to look at what makes a terrible commercial handlebar and what makes one good. When setting up Windy’s new bike, we were trying to push the … Read more

The Downhill Hardtail

This Sunday, I’m getting to close out the season at Northstar. I love riding downhill although I don’t do it much these days. I’ve had a nice summer in this regard. I was able to ride a day at Northstar early in the season and another two days of riding at Trestle in Colorado. Not … Read more

Welding Table Support Clamp

I tell people all the time that I’m not a very good welder. I know good welders. I am not one. Still, I need to get metal connected and I can use all the help that I can get. When welding a bicycle frame, it needs to be held in a lot of interesting positions … Read more

SRAM Retaining Ring Tool

A week or so ago, I posted my new bike, the 2022 PVD F-16 Fighting Falcon. Within the photoset and the breadcrumbs posted on Instagram was a photo of me finding a missing snap ring that got scuffed off against a rock or something. A discussion ensued on how and what to use to work … Read more

A new headset system

Testing is ruthless business. It requires radical intellectual honesty. Huge investments of time, effort, and money were put into getting something on the ground to test. Nobody wants any of that to be proven to be a waste. But it doesn’t help me in any way to lie and pretend to myself when confronted with … Read more

2022 PVD F-16 Fighting Falcon

In the short time I spent riding on my last mountain bike, the 2021 PVD MiG-31 Firefox, I fell in love. The bike was a stunning advancement in modern mountain bike geometry (PostForward). It felt amazing on the trail. Compared to older bike designs, it was lighter handling and cleaner while at low speeds and … Read more

Platform and Binding Pedals

Contrary to most of my posts, I’m not going to try to convince you of anything or tell you that I’m right. I just want to express some of my thoughts. Sometime in February or March of 2022, I put platform pedals on my mountain bike. Since then, I’ve also attached them to my all-road … Read more

The problem with 35mm handlebars

For many years I’ve been discussing the problem with 35mm handlebars on bicycles. Having them specified on stock bicycles is especially bad. They are rarely a good choice for a custom bicycle. I’ve got piles of these parts in a bin leftover from years of working around this junk, replaced with 31.8mm parts. I’ve finally … Read more

Brad Bingham Interview

We were on our way to Winter Park, CO. Our trip started with a birthday funday for Ronen at Northstar Bike Park and a Tahoe trail ride. The boy I once knew is now 33. Jesus was 33 at the end. Prophetic. The day of riding at Northstar was excellent. It had been a while … Read more

Bean Can 2022

Careful readers of my blog will know about the ‘bean can’. It’s a simple enough device that protects the delicate top tube of a bicycle frame when proper hand grip placement may produce damage in a crash. When everything goes ass over tea kettle, the front end swings around wildly, looking for something to stop … Read more

Windy’s trail crusher

It’s new bike day for Windy! I’m hoping that some of the younger folks read this post and be able to develop a new understanding of how to look at putting commercially available bicycles together. Most of my work is done at the extreme high end of construction and a development level that few can … Read more

Fail Early and Often

This happened. We all get to look and see. The carcass of my soul and pride lays in front of you. The message board heroes get to point and laugh. Public failures are a double edged sword. On one side, they give others ammunition to bring me down. They can point at this and say … Read more

Deeper Custom

We all think of custom differently. I like to take things a lot further than what you see in magazines. Spending money on retail crap isn’t custom as I see things, it’s consumption. Custom should be at your own hands not your pocketbook. It should be about taking risks, to show your style and flair. … Read more

The PVD Wheel Lacing Fixture

I think it was 1990 when I built my first set of bicycle wheels. I was a young man of 20, working at Fat City Cycles in Olive Square in Somerville, Massachusetts.  We manufactured very fancy bicycles there. On the side, I had just constructed a fixed gear road frame for use getting around Boston … Read more

Porting equations from Excel to SolidWorks

I develop a lot of equations for use in my designs. Math is behind most of what I make. Generally, I’m using MS Excel while going through the math and drawings to arrive at the system that I want to use. That gets added to master spreadsheets along with all my other calculations that I’ve … Read more

PVD WOPR Frame Fixture

This is the holy grail of the plate style fixtures and is the third iteration of a bicycle fabrication fixture that has developed from modern bicycle design principles. The 2020 Cyberdyne System fixture changed everything. By building a fixture on a breadboard surface, precise fabrication could be done with a lesser investment in tooling. The … Read more

Angles for Welding Tables

This is something interesting that came up in the shop yesterday. My friend, Tim Murko, has been working with wood in recent years. He’s been doing various furniture and wall art types of things. For a while, he was content with just wood and fasteners (along with some fun electronics as Tim is an electrical … Read more

Handlebar Data Plates

Last week while in Santa Cruz for the Caletti Open House, I got to take a quick ride at UCSC before heading over to John’s shop. At the top of U-Con by the kiosk before entering Rock and Roll, I got to talking with a bunch of guys. They took interest in the bike that … Read more

Caletti Open House

Yesterday, I went to the Caletti Cycles open house in Santa Cruz. My wife and I had a nice little day trip. A few east bay stops on the way down and a sunset drive back up the coast to San Francisco and Marin. We enjoyed a quick ride in the trail network by UCSC … Read more

Upsweep Isn’t a thing

Handlebar upsweep isn’t a thing. It never has been. Notice that this will be the last paragraph where that term will be written in this article. Don’t say it. Don’t repeat it. It’s an old punchline to a joke nobody remembers. It’s been a few years since I’ve discussed handlebars in general. It’s time again. … Read more

Spring basics

A friend of mine was on a ride with us on Saturday. He had purchased a used bike a few months ago, a Santa Cruz Megatower XXL. He’s a big guy, 6’5″, and this bike is small for him. Not much tuning has been done. The rear end was giving him some issue. There is … Read more

The Half Volume Token

I’ve  been tuning the fork on my 2022 MiG-31 Firefox. It’s a RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 150/42 B4. Nothing fancy in terms of tune at this point but sorting the spring side for now. It’s such a nice little fork. I’m 218 pounds and riding on gnar Marin singletrack with this hardtail. I’ve been tuning … Read more

Breaking things while moving fast

I got lucky. Really lucky. Less than a second later and I would have been tumbling head first down a 15 foot chute of chunk. It would have been very bad, possibly deadly. The 3D printed stem on my 2022 PVD MiG-31 Firefox  broke catastrophically on my third ride. This is the second catastrophic failure … Read more